Prohibition In The U.S.


There seems to be a 70 year cycle of alternating periods of restriction and widespread use of alcohol and drugs

Morbidity due to drugs compared to other causes

Ken Burns Prohibition

Lyman Beecher

1770s Benjamin Rush signer of the Declaratiion of Independence and one of the greatest physicians of American history established a medical model of alcoholism as he called for the restriction of alcohol and tobacco use

Early 1800s Drinking reaches an all time high triple the per capita rate of today

Watch Roots of PROHIBITION A Nation of Drunkards on PBS. See more from Ken Burns.



1855 A temperence movement parallel's the abolitionist and women's rights movements as13 of 40 states and territories adopt prohibition

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. President. Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives



1870 Alcohol is back in fashion again, peaking by 1910



1900 Carrie Nation and the Women's Christian Temperance Union put up a fight



1920 Prohibition 18th ammendment, Volstead Act, Scarface Violence

clip Massacre

1933 Depression Prohibition Repealed Women's Organazation for National Prohibition Reform

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this." Albert Einstein: "My First Impression of the U.S.A.", 1921

1960s Baby Boomers come of age, Hippies, third peak in drinking 1980

1980s MADD

1990s War on Drugs

2010s Question 2 Mass Prop 19 California, Colorodo &Washington Legalize War on the War on Drugs

Consequences of the Volstead Act

Why Alcohol Should be prohibited

Why Alcohol should NOT be prohibited

Women activists destroy three hooch dens in India

Drug Trafficking in Mexico




* Pictures from Kayla Dorsey 99